Your first pair of loupes: likely the first of many incredibly expensive dental equipment purchases you will make in your career! It’s a lot of money and a big decision. Make no mistake about it, loupes are the most essential piece of dental equipment. I wouldn’t even consider looking someone’s mouth without them. Quality dentistry and magnification go hand in hand.
Here are four things to consider when you’re making your purchase.
Quality Company/Product: For starters, this isn’t an ebay purchase. This also isn’t an “I don’t have any money, I’m a student, I’ll cheap out” purchase either. It is essential that you get something quality right from the start. There are several big name brands on the market, start with discovering and researching those. Does the company have a local rep that can service/repair your loupes should you need it? Is there a money back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied? You want to go with a big company that’s been in the dental magnification business for a while. If some company makes loupes on the side, you probably don’t want to go with that.
Magnification: More is always better, right? Wrong. I wouldn’t go any higher than 2.5X for your first pair of loupes. This is a great place to start, and not even a bad place to stay. It’s going to be an adjustment period wearing these things at first, and you don’t want it to be so difficult that you’re getting headaches and losing your balance because you decided to get 4X or something ridiculous. 2.5X is perfect.
Flip up vs. Fixed: Flip up sounds like a great idea, but it isn’t. Two big problems: it’s heavier (which matters a lot) and you have to constantly be tinkering with it. Do you really want to reach up and adjust your loupes when your hands are covered in blood/saliva? Go with fixed.
Light: It’s essential. If you really can’t afford it right now, I understand, but make sure you at least get a frame that can be fitted for a light in the future. I got my first light after practicing for a year. I feel like it instantly made me better, just being able to really see what I was doing! It was like a light went off. Man, I love puns.
My first pair of loupes were Orascoptic Titanium frames, 2.5X, and I later added the Zeon Apollo headlight. I was so addicted to the light I bought a backup, just in case there was ever a technical difficulty with it. I never needed the backup and instead gave it to my wife, Ana, who was a doubter at first, but then after trying it, guess what? She saw the light. I’m on fire right now! I now wear the XV-1 Loupe and Light and I love it. It is is awesome not having any cords to deal with and I find them to be very comfortable. I would seriously consider this product when making your decision. Good luck. If you have any questions about loupes that I didn’t address, please ask me, I’d be happy to help you.